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U.S. Livestock and Dairy Market Report: June 2024

Date: 18/06/2024 – Livestock – Dairy

Welcome to the latest edition of our monthly U.S. Livestock and Dairy Market Report. This report provides an in-depth analysis of the latest trends, projections, and market dynamics based on data reported by the USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) in their June 2024 Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook, covering data from May 1, 2024, to June 14, 2024. This report has been supplemented with data and insights from additional sources to offer a comprehensive view of the sector for the entire year of 2024.

Cattle Market Overview 🐂

The USDA ERS report indicates a tightening of cattle supplies, which is expected to impact beef production throughout the remainder of 2024. The total U.S. cattle inventory as of January 1, 2024, was 87.2 million head, down 2% from the previous year. This decrease is attributed to higher slaughter rates and reduced calf crops over the past year.

Price Trends and Projections

  • The average price for fed steers in the five-area marketing region is projected to average $154 per hundredweight (cwt) in 2024, down from $158 per cwt in 2023. This decline reflects the anticipated increase in supply pressures.
  • Beef production is forecasted to decline by 2.5% in 2024 due to lower cattle inventory and reduced weights.

Dairy Market Overview 🐄

The dairy sector is experiencing robust demand, both domestically and internationally. However, increased production costs and environmental challenges are influencing overall market dynamics.

Price Trends and Projections

  • U.S. milk production is projected to reach 227.4 billion pounds in 2024, a slight increase from the previous year. This growth is driven by higher cow productivity and improved feed efficiency.
  • The all-milk price is forecasted to average $19.65 per cwt in 2024, down from $20.50 per cwt in 2023, due to expected increases in milk supply and stable demand.

Global Market Context

The international livestock and dairy markets continue to impact U.S. prices and trade dynamics. Increased competition from major exporters like New Zealand and the European Union is influencing global prices and export opportunities.

Trade Insights

  • U.S. beef exports are projected to remain strong, driven by demand in key markets such as Japan, South Korea, and Mexico. However, the overall volume may see a slight decline due to increased competition and higher domestic consumption.
  • Dairy exports are expected to increase, with strong demand for U.S. cheese and skim milk powder in Asia and the Middle East.
  • Cattle Inventory: Down 2%, 87.2M head
  • Beef Production: Decline by 2.5% in 2024
  • Milk Production: 227.4B lbs in 2024
  • Milk Price: $19.65 per cwt in 2024

Feed and Input Cost Insights

Rising feed costs are a significant concern for both livestock and dairy producers. The USDA reports that feed prices are expected to remain elevated due to tight global grain supplies and increased input costs.

Environmental and Regulatory Factors

Environmental regulations and sustainability initiatives are increasingly shaping the livestock and dairy sectors. Producers are adopting more sustainable practices to meet regulatory requirements and consumer expectations, increasing costs and operational onerous.


The U.S. livestock and dairy markets are navigating a complex dynamic of supply constraints, price fluctuations, and global competition. Regular monitoring of these trends is essential for stakeholders.